A NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR
Noir. A simple, yet striking theme IO Performance have attached to their 2023 season; and one that could not be more fitting for this play. The Dark Room encapsulates a lot of what I picture NOIR as.
Stylistically, the script has gifted us with an indirect, yet thriller plot and cynical, melancholic characters that drive snappy, intimate and terse dialogue; elements often explored in traditional Noir films and theatre.
The setting lends itself to endless neo-noir potential, something that drew me so intensely to the piece. Soft neons and warm lights contrast linear shapes and harsh shadows, allowing the period-ambiguous, seedy motel a sense of heat that haunts it’s characters.
The driving force behind me selecting this play, is just how far Betzien is willing to go, in order to make you reflect on the role you play in society and it’s systems. Challenging themes so prevalent in (particularly) rural Australian communities such as youth detention, police brutality, power imbalances, indigenous misjustice, foster care, generational poverty and mental health issues require such deep and respectful thinking, yet are so trivialised in todays society. Is the bliss that follows ignorance really worth the weight of it’s guilt?
I have been incredibly spoilt to have such a wonderful cast, brimming with experience and wisdom to help navigate such an important piece of Australian dialogue and I truly cannot be more thankful to them and the entire team at IO for presenting me with the opportunity to continue the conversation. Enjoy your stay x
WARNINGS: Coarse + derogatory language sexual references mentions of rape, abortion, domestic violence, self-harm and suicide.
Jade has amassed over 20 years of professional singing and performs across the state regularly. She graduated university in 2005 with a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts (Theatre) and a Master of Teaching, leading to her current position as a Drama and Music teacher. Acting credits include: Launceston Musical Society's productions of Rent, Avenue Q, Legally Blonde, Dusty: The Original Pop Diva, 9 to 5, Godspell and You're a Good Man Charlie Brown. In Jesus Christ Superstar, Fawlty Towers I & 2, and Grease with Encore Theatre Company and in Jingled with Mudlark Theatre Company. This is Jades second show with IO having appeared previously in Blank ( Best Supporting Actress Nominee).
Do you remember the first time when you felt something feel right? I do. It was when I moved to my third primary school. I was in grade four, and it was at this new school, where I had my very first drama class. It was the first time where I felt my existence feel right. Thus began my lifelong journey in the arts. I have gone from acting on stage in Tasmania (Anatomy Of A Suicide), to stage in Melbourne (Thirty-Nine with Fresh Theatre), to filming overseas in Malaysia (The Heartsmith). Now, I have the pleasure of working with a wonderful cast and crew on my beautiful home soil. From a confused child, to an over-active teenager, to an ambitious young woman, I truly hope you find something special while watching The Dark Room. I know I did. I was lost for a moment, but then I found my place again, where things felt right.
Nelson is currently in Year 12 at St Patrick's College and his hobbies include football, playing guitar and drawing. In 2022, while studying Level 3 Drama he was involved in St Patrick College's Production of Patricia Cornelius' play about Tasmania 'You Still Here?' 'The Dark Room' will be his first production with IO Performance and he is looking forward to this challenging role.
A dynamic and flexible theatre practitioner with a Master of Fine Arts (Theatre) and Bachelor of Contemporary Arts with Honours. Leigh has performed and directed with the majority of Northern Theatre Companies for the past two decades. Acting credits include Red, Let the Right One In, Become the One (nominated Outstanding Lead Male 2022 Tasmanian Theatre Awards), The Nether, Very Still and Hard to See (IO), Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Of Mice and Men (Three River), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Launceston Players), Savages (Per.sona/Mudlark), as well as IO’s Anatomy of a Suicide which won Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Production at the 2020 Tasmanian Theatre Awards. Directing credits include Garden on the Moon (Mudlark), Bums on Seats, The Bridesmaid Must Die! (Launceston Players), Stressica (Happy Habits), Spelling Bee (LMS), The Season at Sarsaparilla (Three River), The Goat, A Man with Five Children (CentrStage), Hamletmachine and his own Scripted, He and On the Death of Character (UTAS), as well as Three River’s Our Town which won Best Direction at the 2019 Tasmanian Theatre Awards.
Antony Butchart is a local high school Drama. This is his first production with IO after being offered parts in two previous shows but having to pull out to various reasons. He has previously acted with Three River, Launceston Players and Mudlark. This is his first serious role since the Players production of 1984.
Caitlin is a qualified Arts Specialist Educator in Launceston and over the years has worked with students of all ages, teaching across The Arts. As a result of her enviable upbringing (thanks Mum), and various stupendous arty experiences, her mission in life is to spread engagement in The Arts like a common cold, and teaching has been one of the stepping-stones allowing her to do that. Since graduating with a BCA in 2013 and a MTch in 2015, Caitlin has been fortunate to work as an actor, designer and director with a variety of local theatre companies and schools, and is very proud of and grateful for the opportunities afforded her. Of particular note was her direction and co-design of Very Still and Hard to See for IO Performance in 2019, a show that had the most glorious team and was nominated in six categories at the Tasmanian Theatre Awards that year.